Teens Say Depression is Greater Problem Than Bullying, Drugs or Drinking

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on USA Today.

As teen depression in the United States has risen in the past decade, most boys and girls are seeing mental health as a major problem, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

In a survey of nearly 1,000 teens ages 13 to 17, 70 percent say anxiety and depression are critical issues among their peers, Pew found.

While there isn’t data to compare this trend to past generations, Juliana Menasce Horowitz, Pew’s associate director of research, told USA TODAY this finding was still “most striking” given how it compared to other concerns teens said were major problems.

Just 55 percent said bullying was a major problem, 51 percent said drug addiction and 45 percent said drinking alcohol.

Moreover, concern around anxiety and depression rang true across gender, racial and economic divisions within the surveyed group.

Depression among teens has been on the rise in recent years, a 2016 study in the medical journal Pediatrics concluded. Researchers found that from 2005 to 2014, major depressive episodes increased in children ages 12 to 17 from 8.7 percent to 11.3 percent.

Sixty-one percent of teens said they felt a lot of pressure to get good grades whereas only 29 percent said they felt a lot of pressure to look good and 28 percent felt a lot of pressure to fit in socially. Not even 10 percent felt a lot of pressure either to be sexually active, use drugs or drink alcohol.

Additionally, over half of teens say they’re planning to go to a four-year college, with girls (68 percent) more likely than boys (51 percent) to say so.

Source: USA Today

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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